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Value literally means something that has a price, something precious and worthwhile. We value what we desire to have or become and hence become the ideals, standards and set of guiding principles of all our activities and endeavour. The philosophers of the great tradition from Plato to Hegel have been greatly concerned with values, though they may not use the term value, but have spoke of desires and aims. There are altogether four views regarding the nature of values namely Interest theory, Existence theory, Experimental theory and Part-Whole theory (Jangaiah, 1998).
The western view holds that value judgement is not necessarily dependent upon religion, rather it is completely a rational activity and guided by reason. When an individual decides an action to be right or wrong; some course of action as ought to be followed or ought not to be, implies that these judgements are backed by reason behind these (Goyal, 1998). According to Indian philosophy which is not completely free from the hold of religion, the value is associated with the activities or endeavours that are directed towards spiritual liberation (Moksha).
The four Purusharthas i. e. supreme ends of life which hold highest value in Indian philosophy are Economic Well being (Artha), Physical Wellbeing (Kama), Righteous Action (Dharma) and Spiritual Freedom (Moksha). Thus, almost all types of concepts viewed values in terms of normative ethics which guide us to decide what is right, desirable, ought to be and vice-versa. Underlying much of the research studies it is implicit that value dimensions are essentially related, influenced and shaped by various factors. Benjamin (2011) revealed that the school students studying in high school climate had higher moral, personal, social, aesthetic, humanitarian and religious values than the students in moderate and low school climate. Bobowi (2011) showed a greater contribution of multicultural personality to the variance in stimulation, self-direction, universalism and achievement values in comparison to the impact of parental values. Iglesias and Vallejo (2011) found differences in personal and interpersonal values across generational cohorts, gender and ethnic group. Rajkumari (2011), in her cross cultural study revealed that control and protective dimensions of home environment had positive correlation with religious and democratic values of the girls. Ipgrave (2012) indicated that students’ respect for the religiosity of their peers is more influenced by the experience of religion in the neighbourhood and the degree to which being ‘religious’ is viewed as ‘normal’ there, rather than by the classroom Religious Education (multi-faith or otherwise).
Sucharitha (2012) concluded that sex and class of study do not have any significant influence upon the moral judgement of secondary school students. Thus, numerous factors of value formation like school climate, culture, gender, parent’s values, religion, home environment, age, class of study etc. have been getting attention by researcher around the world.
Since value formation is a complex and multi-dimensional process, there are a number of inadequately explored factors determining value pattern like marital status, various psychological and personality traits, parental education and expectation, rearing up practice, nature of education exposed to, level of aspiration etc. that need to be examined in order to enhance scientific body of knowledge with respect to value formation. Students perusing different types of education may possess different value pattern as education system is one of the most potent factor in determining values of individual. There is a general feeling that the education system is becoming day by day more or less materialistic and professional where value traditions are being slowly given up. Venkataiah (1998) opined that the system with all its complexities and intricacies have proved to be deficient so far, as it neglects or does not give deserving importance to values in human life. In a way, modern scholarly disciplines are ill-equipped to engage with values. Instead, they live in perpetual fear of the invasion of values lest their hard-earned modernity gets contaminated and unsettled with their contact with values (Thakur & Pathak, 2016).
However, not much scientific investigations have been carried out to validate the impact of modern education in value formation which is mostly professional in nature. It is evident from the related literature that only a few studies are conducted aiming at identification of values of students of either business studies or medical course or teacher education programme etc. Except Manav (1981), who conducted his study on attitudes, self-concept and values of professional and non-professional college students, no other study is reported so far to reveal the value dimensions of undergraduate students of professional courses at large. Similarly, students with different levels of aspiration may also differ in their value pattern. Level of aspiration is closely associated with value dimensions in the sense that it may determine or may be determined by value dimensions. Scanning the literature, it is evident that only three studies by Macneil (1990), Basolene (1992), and Ranu, (1995) are reported with regard to relationship between level of aspiration and value dimensions. Macneil (1990) investigated the relative importance of twenty values and their relationships with aspiration, life roles and work of 157 senior undergraduate students where statistically significant correlation was reported between values and career aspirations.
Basolene (1992) studied the aspirations and values of African and Asian theological students. The results revealed that higher aspiration for education was the way to qualify for political, religious and socio-economic values. Ranu (1995) reported that level of aspiration and intelligence together were predictors of the scores among male and female post-graduate students. Thus, none of the three studies investigated the relationship between level of aspiration and value dimensions of undergraduate students of professional courses. Considering the paucity of scientific investigations as discussed above the present study has been designed and as such stated as “Level of aspiration as predictor of value dimensions: A correlational investigation on undergraduate students of professional courses”.
H0- 1: There is no significant difference between male and female undergraduate students of professional courses in their value dimensions.
H0- 2: There is no significant difference between male and female undergraduate students of professional courses in their level of aspiration.
H0- 3: There is no significant relationship between value dimensions and level of aspiration of male and female undergraduate students of professional courses.
Level of aspiration is the predictor of value dimensions of both male and female undergraduate students of professional courses.
Since the present investigation aims at a study of value dimensions and level of aspiration among undergraduate students involving a relationship between the variables, hence, descriptive correlational research method has been adopted.
The target group of the present investigation is undergraduate students of professional courses. It has been delimited to the undergraduate degree colleges of professional courses affiliated to Gauhati University which are 83 in count. The study has excluded those conventional degree colleges which offer one or two professional subjects. As such, the study has included all the students irrespective of sex and locality enrolled at undergraduate level in all the 83 degree colleges affiliated to Gauhati University offering education in professional courses which are 7001 in count as its population.
Sampling has been done at two levels. In the first stage, 30 percent of the colleges i. e. 25 colleges have been randomly selected from the total 83 colleges of professional courses considering the feasibility of the investigation and sufficient representation of the population. In the second level, stratified random sampling method has been adopted in selecting sample students from each of the selected colleges since the study has included ‘Gender’ as one of the variable for analysis. There are altogether 7001 undergraduate students in 25 selected colleges of professional courses of which 4030 are male and 2971 are female. Applying proportionate allocation, five percent of students from both stratums ‘Male’ and ‘Female’ has been taken from each of the colleges separately to guarantee a more representative distribution of students throughout the colleges. Thus, the total sample for the present study consisted
351 undergraduate students of professional courses of which 202 are male and 149 are female.
Tools of Data Collection
The following standardised tools has been used in collection of dataa.
Study of Values Test (SVT) developed by Dr. R. K. Ojha and Dr. Mahesh Bhargava which measures the six values based upon Spranger’s type(s) of men.
Level of Aspiration Measure (LOA) developed by Dr. Mahesh Bhargava and Dr. M. A. Shah. Treatment of DataAs the present study is mainly based on examining group performances and relationship between variables, the statistical techniques employed for the study are mean, sd, t-test, correlation, and regression-prediction. In order to understand the efficiency of level of aspiration in predicting value dimensions, coefficients of forecasting ffficiency (E) for each of the regression equations are calculated and presented in percentage.
The results are presented and discussed in the order of the hypotheses of the study. H0-1. There is no significant difference between male and female undergraduate students of professional courses in their value dimensions. In order to test the first hypothesis, the mean scores and standard deviations of different value dimensions are calculated separately for the male and female undergraduate students of professional courses. As all the six dimensions of values have equal chances of scoring, hence, rank order has been assigned to each of the value dimensions according to the weightage of respective mean scores separately for the two groups. Thus, divergence is observed in the two most preferred values as well as third and fifth preferred values between male and female undergraduate students of professional courses. Moreover, the Table 1 shows that there is significant difference between male and female undergraduate students of professional courses with respect to four value dimensions namely economic, social, political and aesthetic. The calculated ‘t’ values of 2. 873, 2. 039, 4. 798, 4. 973 respectively for the mean scores of economic, social, political and aesthetic value dimensions between male and female group has been found statistically significant. Thus, the H0¬-1 stating ‘there is no significant difference between male and female undergraduate students of professional courses in their value dimensions’ is partly retained and partly rejected. It is rejected with regard to economic, social, political and aesthetic value dimensions, whereas the hypothesis is retained so far theoretical and religious value dimensions are concerned. The findings of t-analysis presented in Table 1 as males are significantly more economic and political than females, and the females are significantly more social and aesthetic than the males, is supported by previous reportings. Earlier Ferran, Cristina, Mònica and Sara (2007), and Tripathi (2008) concluded that females are higher in social value than their male counterparts.
According to Singh (1997) male adolescents are significantly higher in economic value than the female adolescent, just as Ferran et al. (2007) concluded that boys are significantly higher on the materialistic value and the capacities and knowledge related values. H0-2. There is no significant difference between male and female undergraduate students of professional courses in their level of aspiration. In order to test the second hypothesis, ‘t’ test has been employed.
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